insideSUSSEX Magazine Issue 08 - October 2015 - Page 56

HEALTH+WELLNESS stoptober QUIT SMOKING FOR GOOD Stoptober is all about quitting. But quitting in the best possible way – it’s to do with giving up smoking. When it comes to cigarettes, NHS research shows that after 28 days without one, smokers are around five times more likely to quit for good, and never light up again. And isn’t that the best for everyone? Imagine a world with no more smoking related deaths and illnesses, a world without passive smoking harming our children, a world where we don’t have to dodge cigarette butts on the roads, pavements, and all over the countryside. That world is within sight, according to Stoptober’s founders. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for them, but quitting isn’t always as simple as having the knowledge and throwing the cigs away. Habit and addiction play a huge part in why people smoke, but Stoptober aims to show those who truly want to quit that they are not alone. And this year the campaign runs in conjunction with a new law that begins on 1st October: as of this date, it will be illegal to smoke in a vehicle if anyone under 18 is present. So what better time to quit than now? The good news is that the number of smokers in the UK has reached a record low. According to the Office for National Statistics, smokers now account for just 18.4% of the population, and the rate is declining each year. But there is still work to do; that 18.4% is still around eight million people. That is why campaigns such as Stoptober are such an important part of making those numbers get even lower. Last year, over 250,000 people stubbed out their cigarettes in Stoptober, which is created and funded in this country by Public Health England. The brains behind the campaign understand that quitting is a challenge, so they’ve turned it from a terrifying, terrible, and really rather lonely endeavour into a fun and interesting one. Stoptober encourages and supports those trying to quit by offering advice and linking them with others who are hoping to stop smoking for good. The first thing to do is sign up and register your details. It’s fast and free, and in return you’ll receive the Stoptober Support Pack. This pack contains everything you need to get started stopping including a mobile phone app and a 28-day text support system. It will also give you plenty of ideas about events that you can either set up yourself, or discover in your area. These events are mostly charity based, with funds going to organisations such as Cancer Research UK and the British Lung Foundation, and they are also a great opportunity to meet other people So what does it involve? 56 near you who are going through the same feelings, emotions, and physical cravings that you will be. A problem shared is, as they say, a problem halved, and having a quitting buddy can sometimes make all the difference between making it through 28 days (and beyond) smoke free and giving in to the tobacco when it calls. Next, you should prepare to quit. For some, going at it cold turkey in October works, but for others preparation is key to long-term freedom from smoking. 1. Decide on a quitting date. If you are taking part in Stoptober, that’s easy, and you can mark it on your calendar so you and everyone else will see it. Those who want you to stop smoking will get excited about the prospect, and that is contagious! You’ll soon be wishing the days away so you can finally quit. 2. This leads onto the second point – let people know. Ask them for help. Give them your reasons for quitting so they completely understand